Name: Kristina Rehbein
Location: Essen (Germany)
Position with World Unite!: communication, administration
Languages: German, English
Kristina was a World Unite! participant in 2008 in Karatu/Ngorongoro in Tanzania. She is now in contact with universities, scholarship providers and other organizations we cooperate with. She has a MA Degree in International Development and a BA in Cultural Sciences.
What is your role at World Unite!?
My main responsibility is to handle formalities, such as issuing confirmations and contracts for universities, applications, scholarship providers etc.
What did you do before starting your work at World Unite!?
Before working with World Unite!, I toured with an African musical department of event management in Germany and Europe. Thereafter, I started working with foreign students at an international language school. Later on, I volunteered with World Unite! where I worked with street children in Karatu, Tanzania, as well as supporting charity activities at Highview Hotel Karatu.
What do you enjoy the most about working at World Unite!?
Working with World Unite! is based on trust and compassion. World Unite!, with all that comes with it, (participants, country coordinators, employees, employment agencies etc.) works by values of the coexistence, and promotes tolerance across every border. This is something I experience as an employee of World Unite! every day through the contact with the employment agencies, and the different participants. It also gives great pleasure to gain insight into the experiences and the learning of the participants after a stay in one of our countries of assignment.
Where at your destination do you most enjoy spend your leisure time at?
I am based in Germany, where many participants come from. My favourite host country is Tanzania, where I have been several times. In Tanzania I really enjoy to engage with local families, cook and eat with them, try out and learn the local language, which is Swahili. In Dar-es-Salaam and Moshi, it is nice to spend an evening in a typical local bar where you can find "nyama choma", which is Swahili for "grilled meat".
What is your favourite local food, and where can it be found?
In local bars, my favourites are "chipsi mayai", which is fries with eggs. This is really enjoyable with the local tomato sauce. The grilled meat, especially chicken, is also very delicious. When staying with a local family, my favourite local food is "ugali" (a kind of stiff maize porridge) with vegetables such as beans. On a street food market, definitely you should try out fried and seasoned cassava. And last but not least: the pineapple ("nanasi") is beyond description, because it is extremely sweet - especially the middle part, which you would expect to throw away!
What should participants coming to Tanzania make sure not to miss?
Engaging with local people! You will find white beaches at many places of the world, but not the hospitality of Tanzanian people!
What is the most memorable episode that you have experienced with a World Unite! participant?
It was in 2008, when I was a World Unite participant myself. I and another volunteer were invited to join a safari to Ngorongoro Crater. This was an unforgettable experience - especially because we both forgot our cameras. The experience of the vast scenery, the colours and sounds, the animals, the silence of the place, happened to be completely unfiltered. It was overwhelming!